Venetians rebel: “This is our City”


In Venice a march for dignity to campo Manin with slogans and signs

By Manuela Pivato

VENICE. The March for Dignity challenged the heat, sweated under the sun, pushed away the tourists; advancing calle after cale, bridge after bridge, colorful and loud, along a route where today, on a normal day, venetians would have trouble passing. But yesterday was Sunday, the Sunday on which seventy-one committees, associations and groups, eight labor organizations, eleven parties, and twenty-one councilors from the region the city and the Municipality came together for a “a more worthy city”.

There were three thousand, according to the organizers – little more than a thousand according to law enforcement – nevertheless there were many, of all ages, from every sestiere, joined by people from Mestre and Marghera, with hats, umbrellas, beach sandals, children in their arms, dogs panting at their feet, flags, banners, the music of Pitura Freska, who paraded from Piazzale Roma to campo Manin, where once the right held its rallies.

Announced by a release of smoke from the roof of the city garage, the march took almost two hours to reach the stage, such was the distance from the front to the rear of the march. There were many flags of the NoGrandiNavi, mixed with those of the Coordinamento student medi, the youth of Awakening with those of Morion, the banner “Il mio futuro è Venezia” with one for the benefit of the tourists, in English, “This is not Veniceland”, and with cardboard signs; seen here and there, Gruppo 25 aprile, the Centro Sociale Rivolta, Forum Futuro Arsenale, and also the Movimento dei Consumatori, the group defending Sanità Pubblica Veneziana, Italia Nostra, Lido d’Amare and all the other groups, large and small, who may have differences but are equally motivated, were to be found side by side in Strada Nuova, at Santi Apostoli, on the now melancholy ponte di Coin, at San Bartolomeo, and finally at campo Manin.

On the stage there was something for everyone. Stefano Micheletti of the Comitato No Grandi Navi recalled the last six years, in the wake of the Clini-Passera decree, during which “nothing has changed; even Saturday, seven cruise ships arrived with 14,000 tourists”. “We don’t want Venice to become a Disneyland, but neither do we want a Biennaland – Micheletti also said – and instead the Biennale, after getting the Arsenale, wants to take over the whole city, such as the Lazzaretto vecchio. If we don’t want a tourism monopoly, we also don’t want a cultural monopoly. Let’s not forget the example of the civic museums, which earn millions of Euro every year, while the expert guards risk losing their jobs”.

At the same time, from a distance, on Facebook, Assessor Michele Zuin apologized “if the city was again offended by a group of people incapable of demonstrating quietly, but this is the only way of demonstrating that exists. For years the center-left government did nothing”.

In campo Manin, meanwhile, fruit and mineral water were offered. Tommaso Cacciari looked in the direction of Ca’ Farsetti. “Brugnaro has a design for transforming this city in to Veniceland, for this they install turnstiles, to make visitors pay for a ticket – he said – and this is why he wants venetians to go away, to free up housing to rent to the tourists”.

The heat was felt, but a line of shadow arrived. At the foot of the stage, Gianfranco Bettin observed “a type of alliance, a set of unifying objectives, which is the only way to demonstrate that this city is something else”. Certainly the meeting of 14 June will be something else; announced by Municipal President Giovanni Andrea Martini, the meeting will take place in the parrocchia ai Frari, and during this meeting Mayor Brugnaro will meet with citizens.

“We are close to your palazzo” said Martini “and one day we will also be able to enter it. And meanwhile there are three thousand empty homes while venetians continue to leave. And so on the 14th everyone to the Frari”. The announcement was met with shouts of joy.

Source: La Nuova Venezia, 11 June 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s